How To Change The World With a Sustainable Supply Chain
How To Change The World With a Sustainable Supply Chain
Today, we got to the root of how a sustainable supply chain can change the world.
In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, our guest speaker was Sheri R. Hinish. Sheri is the Founder of the Supply Chain Revolution. Apart from this, she has worked with IBM for almost 3 years. Sheri also holds a number of degrees in multiple fields. Sheri is a frequent speaker on supply chain subjects including how supply chains can be used to promote equitable and sustainable change.
The conversation started with Curt introducing the guest. After this Sheri shared how she got into the supply chain. According to her, she was not traditionally in it, because she didn’t study it as a major. However, when she first got into the supply chain and sustainable supply chain, she fell in love with it.
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After this, Sheri shared her thoughts on a sustainable supply chain. She said that this is what she actually does. She said that a sustainable supply chain is all about helping the climate and the community in sustainable growth.
Adding to this, Sheri also said that she choose a sustainable supply chain because that is what can help in actually changing the world. After this Curt asked Sheri about what changes does she see in people post COVID in the supply chain and ecommerce?
Responding to this, Sheri said that there is a lot of change in people altogether. Moreover, because of COVID, many people have shifted towards ecommerce. However, there is still a great number of the population without internet access according to Sheri.
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Moreover, she said that we didn’t realize that 90% of the world would shift to ecommerce post-COVID. Further, into the conversation, Sheri shared some more on the sustainable supply chain. She said that if you’re looking at the supply chain from a sustainability factor, you have to keep a lot of room for risk.
By the end of the conversation, Curt asked Sheri how she deals with clients who are resistant to change. Responding to this, Sheri said that she believes in leading with a purpose. She said that people often misconceive change as more risks and instability.
Therefore, according to Sheri, you have to create an environment that gives everyone an opportunity to strive and then acknowledge the change.
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The conversation ended with Curt and Damon thanking Sheri for her time.
supply chain, people, sherry, sustainability, folks, ibm, e commerce, real, damon, manufacturing, risk, change, talk, opportunity, supply, shifts, covered, world, diversity, linkedin
Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Sheri R. Hinish
Damon Pistulka 00:00
All right, everyone. I’m going to get us live on LinkedIn and then we are going to be ready to roll.
Curt Anderson 00:06
Damon Pistulka 00:07
Yeah, we got a couple seconds here.
Curt Anderson 00:12
Damon Pistulka 00:13
All right, everyone, as Kurt would say, just said Happy Friday. I’m back again with the manufacturing ecommerce Success Series. I’m your co host Damon Pistulka. I’ve got Kurt Anderson up there, just to my right. Let’s see. Yes, my right I keep getting mixed up looking in the cameras. And I want to let you take it from here curtsy, you can introduce our guests for the day and we can get going. Dude, thank
Curt Anderson 00:39
you. So welcome everybody every week. You know Damon, we are just Plus we’re like a listers, week in and week out. And this week is no different. I’m going to give a shout out to everybody joining us today we’ve got Lissa up in Alaska. We’ve got Leo, we’ve got Val AJ, Kevin. So thank you guys, everybody on LinkedIn. Thank you for joining us and people will be popping in here. As we continue. today.
Our Our guest is is man, David, this is this is phenomenal. I’m going to be here for a minute or two now. I’m just kidding. So we have we have a supply chain expert and she’s such an expert. Her name is the supply chain queen. We have Sherry Hi. Nish. Sherry, thank you for joining us today. I know you’re super busy. What an honor. Thank you.
Sheri R. Hinish 01:25
Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Curt Anderson 01:28
Well, let’s, so let’s cover a few things that you have going on. First off when guys I dropped her LinkedIn profile in the chat box. And as every week, drop your LinkedIn profile in there, we’d love to hear where you’re coming from, connect with Sherry on LinkedIn connect with each other. Bobby in Seattle. Thanks for joining us. So Sherry, I noticed that you have multiple degrees. Can you please talk about that? Like how many degrees does one person have?
Sheri R. Hinish 01:54
I have a lot of degrees. So it’s interesting because I don’t have a traditional career path in supply chain. I sort of landed in supply chain, I think like many of us as a third or fourth career. But I fell in love with it immediately. So my undergraduate degrees in business was a minor in supply chain. I have a master’s in supply chain management from Rutgers, also a master’s in sustainability and supply chain innovation from Harvard. And then I did some post grad work at Cornell in human behavior.
And I also have a lot of certifications PMP, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt design thinking certification and leading sustainable transformation. So a lot of degrees. But I’m always a student, I’m always learning.
Curt Anderson 02:44
Well, man, I feel like a huge under achiever right now. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 02:48
I know I just I just got this wave of you’ve done nothing.
Curt Anderson 02:55
Cool, sir. Impressive Ivy League background, this is just phenomenal. And you’re just you’re such an inspiration with what you’ve done in diversity and supply chain, we’re going to dig into that. Now. I also you know, you’ve you’ve earned and gained a tremendous respect from your peers, you have a few if you go to Sherry’s LinkedIn profile, numerous awards, can you talk, you know, like 2020, Global Women’s supply leader 2021, top 100 woman supply chain? pros, the know, seems like you know, every year you’re earning that award, talk a little bit about some of the words, feel comfortable bragging a little bit, please.
I don’t feel comfortable.
Sheri R. Hinish 03:34
You know what it is, I think I’m, I fell in love with supply chain. And I have this amazing opportunity where what I want to be when I grow up, and my passion to change the world have somehow aligned and I get paid for it. So I think you know, when you when you start out in this field, at least for me, you know, it was a means to an end where I was getting a paycheck and kind of struggling through what do I want to do next. And then at some point, it started clicking and I realized, hey, there’s an there’s a real opportunity to make an impact.
And when you talk about, you know, supply chain or stem through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion, when you start hearing from some underrepresented groups and women and other folks in the domain, who don’t feel like they have a voice and they say, you’ve inspired me to push myself and to pursue a career in supply chain. I mean, how can you not stand up and evangelize the great work that these folks are doing? So I think a lot of the awards I didn’t focus on that it just sort of became a byproduct of that process of impact and continuous improvement and pushing myself to add value to myself and to others in the world that we share.
Curt Anderson 04:52
Right and and and I appreciate your humility, and it’s just and I think it’s just a testament of your passion, your expertise and just being a champion in the industry and just really paving a path. For other women we had, we share a friend with DC man’s stray gola. And she was a guest of ours several months ago. And so I know she’s in supply chain as well talk a little bit about so you’re with IBM and great title global leader in sustainability and and in supply chain, talk a little bit about what what you’re seeing with all the changes with, you know, the world that we’re in today with COVID, and everything that’s going on in your life the past year.
Sheri R. Hinish 05:28
Sure. So, um, again, sustainable supply chain is really my jam. That’s where I live, and also at the intersection of technology. So when you think about the environmental and social emergencies happening right now, we don’t have to enumerate them, but climate change, you know, collapse of biodiversity or oceans, the human health crisis with COVID.
And also the fact that there are over 4 billion people that are living on less than $5 a day, the digital divide, where people don’t have access to the internet, for example, supply chains, touch all of this, and I was pulled to supply chain, and then subsequently IBM, because I believe that that intersection of sustainability supply chain and technology has the power to save the world.
And, you know, some folks might say, Well, why supply chain 50 to 85% of those sustainability impacts, this is through the lens of planet and people, they actually happen in the supply chain. So when you think about that, in in view, for change in addressing a lot of the complex problems that we have in the world right now, it happens in supply chain.
And I think just to add another layer, you know, supply chains with purpose, I talk a lot about purpose, that’s really the North Star and in having a shared vision, like the United Nations sustainability, sustainable development goals, which we’re going to get into I think today, that’s really this, you know, beautiful roadmap that encapsulates what the future could be for everyone, leaving no one behind. And that’s what I do at IBM, I wake up with purpose, wanting to make a better world for my kids and your kids, and really being proud of a world that’s responsible. And that’s equitable.
Damon Pistulka 07:24
Curt Anderson 07:26
that was, yeah, that was, that was phenomenal. So, so cheering for supply chain, you know, our show is manufacturers, you know, we’re relentlessly trying to help manufacturers get in e commerce, you’re working relentlessly on supply chain. What do you seen as far as like e commerce with like, your clients? Or are you seeing improvements or, or changes that the COVID inspire folks to get deeper in e commerce that you’re seeing?
Sheri R. Hinish 07:54
Yeah, I mean, I am obviously there’s been a tremendous uptick in in e commerce and folks needs still need to rely on receiving goods. And when you think about supply chains, I think what’s changed is, for me, at least what I’ve observed is that last mile experience can often define the customer experience. So when you look at you know, you know, core experience upstream, that’s great. But if you can’t actually deliver the promise downstream, you’re not doing well. When it comes to manufacturing, specifically, I see a lot of change in business model, so direct to consumer models.
And when you think about the evolving role of retail operations, the evolving role of the store and how they’re being used in micro fulfillment and distribution centers. Now, a lot of that’s changed when you look at enabling Bovis or curbside, and it’s, it’s a new world, I mean, I don’t think that any of us thought that folks, were going to be able to pivot to 90% eecom, or omni channel, like in 12 months. And the reality is, if you don’t, you’ll probably be left behind. The other thing that’s changed.
And this is something that I also work in work on at IBM is the promise of green retail supply chains or green omni channel. And that’s when you’re able to actually take a lot of that rich data that happens for product proof and credibility. So you have folks who prioritize sustainability, and they want to know, is this product compostable? Is it recyclable was their child labor involved?
All of the things that I think especially me as a mother, when I buy a product, I want to know that I’m not contributing to defectors and people who don’t model the same values that I model so the whole concept of you know what manufacture Yours have to prove not only in how they they produce goods, but also that end to end product proof. It’s changing. And it’s very, very impactful because customers want to know they’re leading with their values. They’re buying with their values. So those are probably the biggest shifts that I see right now in omni channel.
Curt Anderson 10:23
Wow, that and that’s powerful. And we have a number of folks. So we work with a lot of the manufacturing extension partnerships, our dear friend Alyssa up in Alaska, She’s the director at the you would love Alyssa. Alyssa? She is. Dr. Lissa. So um, so you know, we’re huge proponents for Made in USA products. You know, we’re seeing a lot of shift of wanting to be manufacturing back our dear friend Paul in New Jersey on he they have a great Twitter chat group. It’s USA manufacturing, they go live every Thursday. Are you seeing are you starting to see any reshoring? Are you seeing any products coming back into supply chain?
Sheri R. Hinish 11:03
Sure. I mean, I think that when when you talk about supply chains through the lens of sustainability risk is a huge a huge conversation. And typically shorter supply chains or happier supply chains. When you start to think about the promise of hyper, hyper localism, that you’re able to reach SMBs, you’re able to have a more diverse supply base, and you’re able to directly contribute to resilient communities and economic growth, that marry the communities you serve. So there, it’s sort of, I think a lot of it’s changing.
And typically people we’re competing on cost, we’re now it’s risk competitiveness. And when you have shorter supply chains, and you look at nearshoring, or, you know, shorter supply chains in general, you often what happens is that you do have more autonomy you do, you do have reduced latency and time to respond proactively when there’s disruption. And I think you also have a lot more control. And there’s an awareness, you know, I personally love when people source locally, my father was a small business owner, my husband is as well.
And there’s real value in knowing, you know, that, that you’re meaningfully contributing to a community that really needs it. So I think it’s it’s definitely not a trend, I think we’re going to see more of it. Again, I mentioned people are leading with their values. And this is something when you think about the emergence of the low house and the natural lights, these are us consumer segments, they they represent about 45% of the bond population, they want to buy local, right, they want to know where that condo and connection is, this is how my dollars being spent, and how it’s adding value to the world.
Curt Anderson 12:59
Man, that is, that’s an What a great what a phenomenal trend. And when you look for, you know, we use that word silver linings that have come out of COVID there’s just so many positive things, as far as new opportunities for our manufacturing base in the US now, sure, you’re you’re really a champ champion and advocate for change innovation.
See, when you’re working with folks, manufacturers, you know, a lot of us, you know, as older dudes mean, Damon, right, Damon, us, you know, we’re resistant to change, when you’re working with you know, and I feel like, you know, you’re just a driving force just to kind of plow through that change. When you you know, how are you? How do you work with folks, as far as maybe they’re a little bit resistant to change? How do you tackle those challenges?
Sheri R. Hinish 13:37
Yeah, so that’s a great question.
Sheri R. Hinish 13:40
you know, I come from industry, I’m not a legacy consultant, I have a manufacturing background, and certainly have been through tons of business transformation. And I think that what people miss, is how you approach the very human experience in some of these technological process shifts. And if you’re looking for the secret recipe, I have a point of view. I think leading with purpose, leading with purpose helps leveraging the power of piloting, you know, making it real, and then also creating a safe space for change and addressing social risks. And I’ll talk a little bit about that, just to give you some some tips and lessons, hard earned lessons, if you will.
People like certainty. And I think that a lot of what happens is this assumption that change equals instability and risk. So you really have to create an environment that’s stable in an environment where everyone can thrive. So when you think about leading with purpose, and clearly defining why through things like vision, governance, connecting the dots for individuals and a day in and day in the life transition, that really helps frame and shape those underlying values. Use and attitudes and ongoing motivation that you need during scale.
I think also piloting people, people don’t understand that that early sense making the learning agility, you know, working out the kinks, so to speak, if you will before scale, it removes a lot of risk around change and technology shifts that you need for alignment. And you, you know, the feasibility, you know, the the reliable forecasts and value and understanding those levers, really, really important. And then lastly, this is this is the million dollar to $10 billion advice. It’s critical, you address social risks, and you have to create safe spaces. We hear a lot about some of the learnings at Google and also at IBM around psychological safety.
And what happens is when people feel safe, bringing their whole selves to work, raising their hands open, openly sharing how they feel, it ultimately reduces the emotional labor of transformation. And we all know what that feels like. It’s that change where at the end of the day, you’re just like, Oh, my gosh, you know, it’s just so much to bear. Those are all the feelings associated with risk and perception of risk. So that’s my secret recipe. You know, for tipping the scale and creating lasting change, leading with purpose, safe space for change, addressing those social risks, and then also leveraging the power of piloting.
Curt Anderson 16:41
Wow. And that was so powerful. I love that the safe space for change I’ve been I’ve never heard a frame like that. And I know and you have a great podcast guys. Check out Sherry’s podcast, the the supply chain revolution she is she’s spearing up supply chain rebels. And you you go heavy into sustainability, diversity, all these topics? I know you have a great feature coming out and was a supply chain digital next month, is that correct?
Sheri R. Hinish 17:09
Yes. Yes, the may cover which is pretty cool.
Curt Anderson 17:13
Congratulations, can you and that not to not to, you know, giveaway? The you know, we want everybody read that article? Can you share a little bit about what was covered in there?
Sheri R. Hinish 17:22
Sure I can. So it’s all about diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. And I’m a big believer that, you know, businesses cannot succeed in, in society when communities are failing. And when you think about, you know, what sustainability means. It’s it’s obviously about it new emerging business models, but it’s also about transforming the lives of people. And I talk a little bit about that. Through inequities, you know, we don’t have to look far with what’s happened during COVID. And climate change.
And what you find is that marginalized populations, when they go through this sort of disruption, they’re often hit the hardest. And it shines a light on a lot of issues that we need to address, including inequity. So you know, in terms of what specifically covered, I think I talk a little bit about my journey. I’m a first generation college student, neither one of my parents went to school, I grew up poor, I didn’t know that supply chain was a career option for me, I didn’t know anyone in a supply chain, I didn’t know how to go to college or what that process look like. And the premise is that there are a lot of talented people, but they don’t have access.
So how do we create that access, and I talked a little bit about IBM’s work with historically black colleges and universities, I started my career at an HBCU in academia. And it was truly transformational because it taught me how to challenge how to challenge the status quo, how to understand that revolution, and disruption are critical to moving forward and progressing our society in a meaningful way.
So that we talked a lot about that we talked about how hard it is for women, 5 million women have left the workforce. And despite what people tell you, things have gone backwards about 2025 years because of COVID. We have to do better, we have to make it a priority. We have to create an environment where folks can show up and hey, they don’t have a traditional work day. You know, you work from here and you work when you’re most productive. And all of those changes need to happen. So we have equity in the workplace and in supply chain.
Curt Anderson 19:52
You I tell you, you’re such an inspiration. I know. We both have daughters and I talked about you know, I just I love what I love about our program. We bring on these just inspirational women, and they just they’re paving paths of new careers. And Alyssa Dr. Lissa says, preach Sherry preach, man. So what I want to get into, you know, you claimers, you know, and I’m going to, well, DC just joined us, Sherry.
So DC just chimed in. So, you, you know, as a bold feminist, what advice do you have for small manufacturers that are working on working on themselves? As far as you know, creating that diverse and working environment? What are your tips, strategies? You know, how do you advise those folks?
Sheri R. Hinish 20:40
Yeah, it’s really hard, I think when you when you get started, because if the first thing is you actually have to start measuring, and getting real on holding yourself accountable. And I think that that’s a place of vulnerability that a lot of organizations don’t necessarily feel comfortable with sharing. But it’s important because you have to be able to visualize where those blind spots spots are, and also opportunities for training upskilling, you know, dealing with some of those mic microaggressions, if you’re not measuring it, there’s a reluctancy to really move forward.
And people typically fall back into those natural patterns of behavior. So set goals, hold yourself accountable. Talk to people, I mean, if you’re talking about small manufacturing environments, typically they’re very small teams, and you’re working together a lot, maybe you spend more time with your co workers than you spend with your spouse, or folks at home. So communication is key. And and I think also, you know, shared language is important. So people typically carry a lot of things that they’ve learned.
In pronouns, there’s a lot, there’s, there’s just these ingrained behaviors that we kind of have to work on ourselves. And it starts with an individual commitment, for diversity, for finding purpose and being happy in life. It’s not your employer’s responsibility. It’s not your friends, your family, it’s yours, you wake up and define your day. And you also wake up and define whether or not you want to be committed to an equitable and safe workspace space.
Curt Anderson 22:25
Yeah. Wow, there’s so you know, Damon, we’re just going to a small taste. And you know, no wonder, you know, Sherry’s winning awards, you got, you know, year after year on these topics, and sharing, and I know you have a hard stop at the top of the hour. And this is this is formed by quickly, can you share? So what do you seen for you know, every main factor is struggling with supply chain right now, parts, you know, folks that are making circuit boards can’t get chips. And in certain parts, what are some paradigm shifts are like, what do you seen or predicting for 2021?
Sheri R. Hinish 22:59
Sure, so I mean, obviously, I think the supply chain function has changed, and COVID has certainly accelerated digital, and we talked a little bit about that with omni channel. But it’s also this convergence of tech, you know, supplier and network risk management, having the ability to really understand that demand and supply matching, but then beyond that, the orchestration, the visibility into end, I think that these are all very real shifts, for 2021. and beyond.
The other thing that a lot of people don’t talk about, because there’s been such an overwhelming uptick in digital adoption is in the next three years, 120 million workers may have to be retrained or re skilled as a result of Intelligent Automation in AI. And that’s only been exacerbated in the midst of the pandemic. So you have people accelerating to digital, but there’s still a skills gap. The other big shift is, like I mentioned before moving away from cost competitiveness, to risk competitiveness.
And I think that what you both mentioned earlier, there’s a sea change where folks are thinking global, but acting local, and that is rebalancing risk. And that is having the ability to connect operational excellence and sustainability driving real, measurable progress. So you’re if you’re in supply chain right now, this is the best time to be in supply chain. We’re no longer cost centers, I have news, we’re foundational to growth, and delivering new value that really forms the basis of trust and transparency and responsibility for brands and for manufacturers. We’re we’re literally powering the world right?
Curt Anderson 25:00
You know, so much opportunity, you know, you’ve come, you’ve covered so much in such a short period of time for e commerce, you know, manufacturers with an opportunity to go direct to end user direct to consumer, you know, taking on customer service challenges handling that diversity, you know, there’s a so much to cover there. And again, want to be respectful of your time, I know you have a hard stop.
So question that we love to ask our guests each week, this last question that I’d like to ask, our dear friend, her name is Allison afford she preaches? How do you make your customer the hero of your story? So my question to you Sherry is, and I think you’ve covered a ton of it today, in the past 25 minutes, how do you make your customer the hero of your story?
Sheri R. Hinish 25:45
I mean, you owe it people say that you have to put the customer first and everyone wants to be customer centric, you have to actually ask them and have them represented, I think very early on upstream in product design, in offering making sure that the way that you measure value in the way that you deliver value captures voice of the customer. But then before that, I think you have to get the employee experience, right? Because if you get that right, then the customer experience follows.
And this really involves a human centered approach. That’s what is at the heart of both of these if they overlap in a Venn diagram, getting really clear on the human centered approach. And I know that a lot of technologists believe that supply chains are run on laptops, but they’re not. They’re still very physical. And because of that physical nature, we really have to tune into Voice of the Customer leading with empathy, understanding the value of values, and how that drives customer experience. And also the employees that stand up your supply chains globally.
Curt Anderson 26:58
Yep. Awesome. Cheese. Yeah, I’m like speechless right now. Just Just to recap, guys, you know, listen, some, you know, safe space for change, you know, leading with empathy, emotional labor, Human Centered companies, Human Centered products. People do business with people, they don’t do business with businesses, you know, so in even this is coming from IBM, you know, so this is a what a gem.
Again, Sherry, I want to be mindful, we’re right at the top of the hour. Now. any parting thoughts? I know you’ve got, you’ve got this great feature coming out in supply chain digital, you have a bunch of speaking engagements coming up anything that you want to share, and I’ve dropped Sherry’s LinkedIn profile, and you have to check out her website, for podcasts, anything that you want to share to close this out with Sherry.
Sheri R. Hinish 27:47
I’m just so thrilled to be here. Thank you, everyone, for tuning in. Let’s connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. I have tons of events coming up. Free learning, Panasonic, SAP Sapphire IBM’s think conference, super cool events. And I would love to see you there.
Curt Anderson 28:05
Guys, if you need if you need a speaker and supply chain, you just you just heard it here. So Eric, thank you for joining us, DC guy, Kimberly. Everyone, Lissa, Bobby, Leo. Thank you guys, Val, AJ. appreciate every single one of you, Sherry, thank you from buying my heart. Man. I’ve been looking forward to this for months. So thank you for taking time. I know you’re busy. I really appreciate this.
Sheri R. Hinish 28:27
Thank you. I’m going to hit the clap here. Can everyone see? Thank you.
Damon Pistulka 28:33
Thanks, everyone. I want to be really respectful of your time Sherry, I’m going to drop us off on LinkedIn live. And if anyone’s listening to our LinkedIn live, yes, you can review this on my profile, Damon Pistulka. It’s under my posts. Go ahead and listen to Sherry again. She said, reach out, connect with her on LinkedIn on Twitter and Instagram, and go from there. But thank you so much. And we’re going to go back to the tables on reimo. We’re stopping on LinkedIn. And David. One thing real quick.
Curt Anderson 29:03
I want to remind everybody, so we’re doing an e commerce workshop series at Temple University. It’s running every Tuesday for the next six Tuesday’s Temple University. So check out Temple University Small Business Development Center. I’m doing an e commerce workshop with the impact Washington, the MEP of Washington on this Tuesday. If you guys can make the tables I’ll get that that link to you guys. So again, thank you, Sherry. Appreciate you. Appreciate everybody have a great weekend.
Damon Pistulka 29:32
Yep. Thanks a lot, everyone.
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